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  • ONWA

Orange Shirt Day

Updated: Jun 29, 2021


Orange Shirt Day is an annual event that is held on September 30th. It honours the stories, experiences, and lives of those who attended Residential School. This day encourages sharing of stories and empowering Survivors to heal from their trauma through recognizing the lasting effects of those experiences, while honouring the strength of Indigenous children who are survivors of Residential schools.

Orange Shirt Day started in May 2013 because of Residential School survivor Phyllis Jack Webstad speaking out about her experience. She spoke how the Orange Shirt her grandmother gave her was taken on her first day and never returned. Phyllis said that orange will always remind her of her experience at Residential School and how no one cared and that she felt she did not matter. By wearing orange on this day, she shares the powerful message that “Every Child Matters”.

The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) recognizes the trauma the Residential School legacy has left behind, and how these traumas still affect people today. ONWA will continue to empower Indigenous people through a trauma-informed, strength-based lens. This year, ONWA invites you participate in a province wide activity by proudly wearing an “Orange Shirt” pin.

Activity - Orange Shirt Pins

Join us in promoting awareness about Orange Shirt Day by creating and wearing an Orange Shirt day pin. We encourage participants to make their own pins, putting positive feelings and healing thoughts into each one.

Residential School experiences are difficult topics. Please ensure you are in a good place (mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally) before making this pin. It is a good idea that you have support available in the event that you require assistance.

ONWA Orange Shirt Day pin kits will be added to the ONWA weekly Go Bags. Additionally, ONWA Chapters will be providing kits. (Supplies may be limited.)

Orange Pin kits include: a felt orange t-shirt, black beads (for outer edge of pin), a needle (be careful as it is sharp), black and orange thread, and a safety pin.

We would love to see the pins you are make! Design your shirt and share your photo on social media with the #ONWAOrangeShirtDay hashtag. Please tag us in your post (Facebook @ONWA7, Twitter @_ONWA_, Instagram @onwa_official).

Thank you for participating!

Every Child Matters

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